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Wishes Help Keep Pediatric Patients Out of the Hospital

Cimone Stills, 15, has a medical condition that has caused her to have multiple seizures a day for most of her life. Specifically, she has treatment-resistant generalized epilepsy because of a genetic variation. Like many patients with such a serious illness, it affects her daily life and as a result, she was diagnosed with clinical depression. But Cimone’s outlook on life completely changed for the better after her wish of going to Paris. Cimone says that the wish helped provide her perspective and hope. It also helped reduced her number of seizures over time.

As a member of the Medical Advisory Council of Make-A-Wish America, Anup Patel, MD, section chief of Neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, anecdotally could attest that wishes like Cimone’s positively affected the patients he saw in the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s. As a clinician, he sought evidence to support his hypothesis that these experiences provided children with progressive, life-threatening, or critical illnesses more than hope – that in fact, they had a clinical benefit.

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